Booker T. & The M.G.'s - Green Onions (1962), 4/10

Largely consisting of atmospheric R&B, Booker T. & The M.G.’s Green Onions is led by Jones’ organ and accented by Cropper’s guitar as well as a solid rhythm section in Jackson Jr. and Steinberg. The record opens with one of the most well-known tracks of the sixties in the title track before wandering in and out of various covers and dispersed improvisations. At times the combination of organ and electric instrumentation sounds mismatched or bland, but in others it creates an oddly satisfying gliding sensation. Songs like “Twist and Shout” or “Behave Yourself” sound properly styled while “Rinky-Dink”, for example, sounds entirely misguided. Jones’ expert organ playing during “Behave Yourself” sounds inspired and passionate before a melancholic tone shift in “Stranger on the Shore”, an odd beginning to the second side of the record that kicks off a very similar set of tracks, succeeding in moments and sounding completely lost in thematic drudgery for much of the rest. Still, the band holds down the grooves while Jones explores remote melodic ground. The success of each song is surprisingly self-contained, and the results are all over the place, but occupy a space of standard atmosphere more than any other quality. The triumph of each song largely lies with Jones’ organ with some tangential instances of guitar carrying the leading melody. Notable for the opening title track with little outside impact, a record entirely reliant on its single for importance with a range of filler lying behind as foundation.